Millionaire Robert Durst, who was acquitted of murder despite admitting he had cut off a man’s head, was arrested today on a parole violation, said Mike Viesca, a spokesman with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
“A warrant was issued for Robert Durst today after witnesses saw the offender in Galveston on Dec. 16,” Viesca said. “By being there, Durst violated the terms of his supervision that restrict his schedule and travel.”
Attorney Bill Habern, who has represented Durst in dealings with Texas parole officials, said he was on his way to the Harris County Jail at 2:10 p.m. to find out why Durst was arrested and what charge he faces.
Durst pleaded guilty to state charges of evidence-tampering and bail-jumping related to the killing. He was eligible for parole on those charges because he had spent three years in Galveston County Jail before and after his murder acquittal.
Viesca said Durst will remain in Harris County custody until a (parole) revocation hearing is scheduled, most likely within the next two weeks. Durst is on mandatory supervision until Nov. 29, 2006.
Following the revocation hearing, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles can choose to revoke his parole and send him to prison, send him to an intermediate sanction facility, or keep him on parole under supervision with or without changes to his current restrictions.
In November 2003, a Galveston County jury acquitted Durst of murder in the 2001 shooting death of Morris Black, Durst’s neighbor in a Galveston apartment building.
Durst said the shooting was accidental. He admitted that he cut up Black’s body, placed it in trash bags and tossed them into Galveston Bay.
Galveston police said Durst was spotted Friday outside the apartment building where he and Black had lived and where the slaying occurred. Sgt. Cody Cazalas said he received a call from one of Durst’s former neighbors, who also testified at Durst’s murder trial.
”The witness was upset and very concerned for her safety,” Cazalas said. ”She said she’d seen him standing outside the house just staring at the house.”
Cazalas said he searched the neighborhood to see if Durst was still around. He also checked with the Galveston County District Attorney’s office and was told that ”if he was in Galveston he was in violation of his parole.”
Cazalas said that he contacted Durst’s parole officer and he said he believes that parole officials interviewed the neighbor who first reported Durst’s presence in Galveston and another person who saw Durst the same day.